A survey shows that myths about same-sex parenting persist among Canadians

Montreal, May 15, 2014 — As the International Day Against Homophobia draws near, Fondation Émergence has revealed the results of a survey conducted by Léger Marketing concerning Canadians’ opinions and perception of same-sex parenting. The subject of the survey relates to the theme of the 2014 campaign, “I love my two dads, I love my two moms”.

The survey indicates that in everyday life and on the Internet, more than half of the Canadians surveyed (52%) claim that they have witnessed offensive comments being made about families with same-sex parents or same-sex parenting in general. 16% declared that they personally uttered such offensive comments.

The survey also reveals the existence of persistent myths about same-sex parenting. A third (33%) of the Canadians surveyed state that they agree that, for a child to develop fully, he/she needs to have parents of both genders. Furthermore, half (49%) of the Canadians surveyed believe that all children need a parental model of each gender. Finally, 7% of the Canadians surveyed state that they believe that children who grow up in families with same-sex parents will be homosexual. Despite these myths, the majority (79%) of the Canadians surveyed agree that two people of the same sex can be just as good parents as two opposite-sex parents.

The survey confirms that the more contact people have with families with same-sex parents, the more comfortable they are with them. In fact, the vast majority of Canadians who know a family with same-sex parents declare that they feel comfortable when they are in contact with parents (93%) or with children (95%) from a family with same-sex parents. It should be noted that a third (31%) of the Canadians surveyed state that they personally know one or more families with same-sex parents.

The survey also measured familiarity with the terms “same-sex parenting” and “families with same-sex parents”, revealing that 63% of the Canadians surveyed claim that they had heard of same-sex parenting or families with same-sex parents.

“This survey is encouraging in some respects,” declared Martine Roy, president of Fondation Émergence. “Although offensive comments are commonplace and myths persistent, this survey shows that increased visibility for families with same-sex parents will bring greater acceptance. Therefore, it is our duty to continue our awareness-raising work. I am also appealing to the cultural community in Quebec, as TV series, films and plays can support us in this awareness-building work by featuring families with same-sex parents in their everyday lives.”

As a follow-up to the survey, the public is invited to consult homophobiaday.org, a site that deconstructs myths about same-sex parenting and suggests concrete actions to reduce prejudice.

The survey was conducted between April 21 and 24, 2014 through a web-based survey with a random sample of 1,511 Canadians chosen from the LegerWeb panel. Complete results have been published at fondationemergence.org.


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